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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  October 15, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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hello again. i president trump is accompanied by a couple of friends at his golf club. senator rand paul share ag little fist bump as they hit the links there. yesterday trump and senator lindsey graham spent the day at the same golf club. when you know about the quality time what is happening? >> no doubt this is an opportunity for the president to get out of the white house and to be with the senators in a more informal setting.
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while they are certainly enjoying themselves there is an opportunity for them to talk about some big issues confronting the administration including a new plan on health care, how they will get tax reform done. it is believed that is part of what the conversation was today. these players are important. you have someone like rand paul of kentucky who while has been an ally of the president publically but someone who stood in the way of some key pieces of legislation, health care in particular, and seems to be a bit skeptical about upcoming tax reform plan. lindsey graham is another one popular with fellow senators but found opportunities to criticize president trump when appropriate. it is important for the president to build these relationships because things have been icy with him and members of the republican senate and he needs them if he wants to move his agenda forward. >> president trump spoke with senator mitch mcconnell on the phone.
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what do we know about the meeting tomorrow? >> no doubt that it is important for the president to make nice with rank-and-file members of the u.s. senate. his relationship with mitch mcconnell is more important than any relationships. it has been difficult throughout the course of this administration. looks as though both sides are looking to repair the relationship. they spoke on the phone yesterday and will meet at the white house this week. according to lindsey graham it is not necessarily mitch mcconnell's fault that the senate isn't accomplishing the president's goals. >> mitch mcconnell is not our problem. our problem is that we promised to repeal and replace obamacare and we failed. we promised to cut taxes and have yet to do it. if we are successful mitch mcconnell is fine f. . if not we are all in trouble. >> that was lindsey graham on cbs this morning. personalities aside, the real problem for republicans right now is that they can't seem to
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come up with an agreement on the policy. until they can come up with a plan that at least 50 senators will vote for no way they get any of these things accomplished. perhaps that is what the that and mitch mcconnell will talk about this week. rex tillerson says the u.s. is planning to stay in the nuclear deal. tillerson made the comments in an interview with jake tapper this morning where he also reaffirmed diplomacy is the president's goal with north korea. here is a portion of the conversation. >> so before we get to what the president did i want to ask the question. you said iran is in technical compliance with the deal. president trump said on friday that the iranian regime has quote committed multiple violations of the agreement. which is it? is iran in technical compliance or has it committed multiple violations? >> the answer is both.
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under the nuclear agreement the jcpoa there had been a number of technical violations carrying too much inventory and having materials used to conduct high speed. under the agreement iran has a significant period of time to remedy the violations so they have remedied the violations which brings them back into technical compliance. i think that demonstrated pattern of walking against the edges of the agreement are what give us some concern as to how far iran might be willing to go to test the limits from its side of the agreement. our response to that has been to work with the other parties and demand that we be much more demanding of the enforcement of the agreement, much more demanding inspections and disclosures. that is what we are shifting since we have taken our seat at the table. >> president trump decertified the deal on friday but did not withdraw as he could have.
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did the president want to withdraw before people in the administration such as yourself, secretary mattis persuaded him to pursue what might be described as a middle course? >> what the president wants is a more comprehensive strategy. we will need to find thiran yn relationship around the nuclear agreement. it has a number of weaknesses in it. so the president said throughout this campaign he said i will either reform the agreement, renegotiate the agreement basically saying i will fix the flaws or we have to have a different agreement. i think his decision around the new policy is consistent with that. now we want to deal with the nuclear agreement's weaknesses and want to deal with a much broader array of threats. our friends and allies and threats that they post to our own national security. the president described these in
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his speech. there is the nuclear agreement which we will undertake an effort to see if we can address many flaws. it may be a secondary agreement. maybe it is not within the existing agreement but we may undertake a secondary agreement but then a much broader array of threats from iran, support of terrorist organizations, hamas, all very threatening organizations and destabilizing activities in yemen to support the rebels and in syria the assad regime. everywhere you look iran's activities destabilize the region. the third element of the policy and the president touched on it is this is not about the iranian people. this is about the revolutionary regime in iran that has been intent on killing and harming americans and others in the region. we do not hold the iranian people accountable. our effort is to support moderate voices and cries for
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democracy and freedom and hope one day the iranian people will restore it to the rich history of the past and become a fruitful member and trade commerce in the region. that is really the end game here. that is a very long game and we realize that. >> before the senate not long ago your counter part at the meant gone secretary mattis was asked if he thought staying tht agreement was in the best interest of the united states. whether or not the u.s. should say in it or leave and he said staying in it was his course. it sounds like you agree with it, as well. >> i do agree with that. i think the president does, as well. that is why he took the decision he took that let's see if we cannot address the flaws in the agreement by staying within the agreement and working with others and with our european friends and allies within the agreement. but that may come in a secondary
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agreement, as well. we want to take the agreement as it exists today and fully enforce that agreement and be very demanding of iran's compliance and then begin the process of addressing the flaws that we see around not the absence of addressing ballistic missiles. the concerns we have around sunset provisions, we know what that looks like. we have seen this in the past in the '90s with north korea and agreements that ultimately phase out. what happened has put us on the road where we are today with north korea. we don't want to find ourselves in the same position with iran. >> speaking of north korea you talk about working with european allies. our european allies are very concerned about the stuff that president trump took on friday. i want to show you what the german foreign minister had to say. my big concern is what is happening with iran from the u.s. perspective will not remain iranian issue but many will consider whether. given such agreements are being
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destroyed. i guess the question there is as voiced by german foreign minister why should north korea believe anything the united states has to say if the president has shown his willingness to walk away from agreements about nuclear weapons? >> i think what north korea should take away from this decision is that the united states will expect a very demanding agreement with north korea, one that is very binding and achieves the objectives not just of the united states but the policy objectives of china and other neighbors in the region. a denuclearized korean peninsula f. we achieve that there will pea nothing to walk away from. the issue with the iran agreement is that it does not achieve the objective. it simply postpones the achievement of the objective. we feel that is one of the weaknesses so we are going to stay and work with our european partners and allies to see if we can't address these concerns which are concerns of all of us.
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>> we have so much more straight ahead on that conversation with the secretary of state. did he, in fact, call the president a moron plus his response to a top republican's controversial comment this week. >> you have a cattle ranch. you don't want to say anything about the senator suggesting you have been gelded before the world?
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welcome back. secretary of state rex tillerson was pressed on a number of issues this morning on cnn's state of the union. tillerson refusing to deny reports that he called the president a moron. >> you were in china trying to resolve the dispute with north korea in a diplomatic way as president trump tweeted i told rex tillerson that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with little rocketman and sent
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second tweet saying save energy we will do what has to be done. if i were a chinese official or north korean official seeing the tweets while you were there trying to negotiate i might think secretary tillerson doesn't really speak for president trump. >> fortunately president trump and president xi have probably one of the closest relationships. two major face-to-face meetings, the summit, a very comprehensive bilateral. the president speaks to president xi on the telephone frequently. i have a very close relationship with the state counselor of china who reports directly to president xi on their foreign policy. rest assured that the chinese are not confused what the american policy towards north korea or what our actions and efforts are directed at.
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>> don't tweets like that undermine you? >> i think what the president is doing is trying to motivate action on a number of people's part in particular the regime in north korea. i think he does want to be clear with kim jong-un and the regime in north korea that he has military preparations ready to go and has military options on the table and we have spent substantial time perfecting those. be clear the president has made clear to me that he wants this solved diplomaticity. he is not seeking to go to war. >> he does think it is a waste of time? >> no, sir. he made it clear to me to continue my diplomatic efforts. i told others the diplomatic efforts will continue until the first bomb drops. >> the relationship that a secretary of state has with a president is one of the most important relationships in the world. world leaders need to know you speak for him. nbc news reported you were
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frustrated with president trump over the summer and you called him a moron. you dismissed the question as petty. this is literally one of the most important relationships in the world. is it true? did you call him a moron? >> as i indicated earlier i'm not going to deal with that kind of petty stuff. this is a town that seems to relish gossip, rumor and they feed on it. they feed on one another in a very destructive way. i don't work that way. i don't deal that way and i will not dignify the question. i called the president mr. president. we have a very open relationship. i see him often and speak to him nearly every day. i am in the oval office a number of hours every week. we have a very open exchange on views on policy. he makes decisions. i go out and do the best i can to execute those decisions successfully. he understands at all times what we are trying to achieve to fully implement his foreign
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policy. he has assembled a very i think unconventional team. he is an unconventional president. he assembled unconventional cabinet. he does not accept the status quo. he is going to take forcing action and often times the tweets or decisions he takes are intended to cause this forcing action to get off of the status quo to force people to take action. so whether it is the decision on the iranian agreement that was announced to force action to address this defective agreement or decisions forcing north korea to move to a different place of engagement, all of those are steps the president is taking to force action. he is not going to accept the status quo. the american people elected him to change the status quo and that is what he is doing. >> ever since you called it petty i have been thinking about it. i understand the media makes
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mistakes and media could improve. here is the thing. either he didn't say it in which case there are administration officials telling the press and president that you did and that is a serious problem or you did say it and you are a serious guy. for you to say something like that suggests a real frustration with the commander in chief. it makes people think that you probably did say it but either way whatever happened it is serious. so can you please clear it up? >> as i said, jake, i'm not playing. these are the games of washington. these are the destructive games of this town. they are not helpful to anyone. so my position on it is i'm not playing. i'm not playing. you want to make a game out of it i'm not playing. >> i'm not making a game out of it. i'm trying to seek clarity because saying that if i said that my boss was a moron that would be a serious issue and my
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boss doesn't control nukes. i'm willing to move on. you still haven't denied that you called him a moron. a lot of people are going to watch this and think he probably said it. >> i'm not dignifying the question with an answer. i'm a little surprised you want to spend so much time on it when there are so many important issues around the world to deal with. >> i want to ask about senator bob corker who said something about you. he has tremendous respect for you. he said you are one of the best things about the cabinet and he thinks president trump is constantly undermining you. he said the president has quote castrated you before the world stage. that's his word, not mine. what is your response to that? >> as i indicated earlier i think this is an unconventional president. he uses unconventional kmuk aal communication tools. for people around washington for
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a long time this is a place you know better than i, this is not a place that likes the change. it enjoys the status quo. the last thing anyone likes to do in this town is make a decision because when you make a decision you are suddenly accountable for that decision. so the president is out trying to motivate people to change whether it is on health care, executive action he recently took to motivate the change or executive orders. it is to motivate a change. people in this town get very nervous and very uptight about having to address serious issues by making decisions. so the president is simply trying to do that in his very unique style. he is very unique. i don't think there is any doubt that anyone sees him as anything other than the most unique president we have certainly seen in modern history. >> hard to dispute that. >> again, i would say i am fully
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committed to his objectives. i agree with his objectives and what he is trying to do. how he wants to use his skills to push things towards change i'm there to help him achieve those. >> you have a cattle ranch and you don't want to say anything about senator suggesting you have been gelded before the world? not anything that bothers you? >> i checked. i'm fully intact. >> i did not expect that answer. let's turn to russia. senator john mccain slammed administration for missing a deadline to implement sanctions. it was clear president trump didn't want to sign that legislation. he made that clear but it was passed through with veto-proof must just. it does seem that the administration is slow walking the implementation of these sanctions. how do you respond? >> with respect to russia in particular we are being very careful to develop guidance that
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companies need because there are business entities that need guidance and important allies and partners in other parts of the world who need specific guidance so they do not run a foul of sanctions act. we are working with the treasury department to develop the guide lines so people understand what will be allowed and what will bring them a foul of the sanctions themselves. i have been through one session on that with treasury now. we will get those guidelines out so we can begin full implementation of the act. we havary intention of implementing. >> president trump says that the united states is more respected now in the world than it has ever been polling to the contrary not withstanding. what do you think is the trump administration's greatest achievement internationally since you became secretary of state? >> i think there have been more than just one. the president early on called upon nato member countries to
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step up their commitment to nato, modernize their own forces. they got a lot of blowback from that, concerns we were going to leave nato or were not committed to article 5. as a result of that countries stepped up contributions towards thane or defense. this leads to a strong nato which we desperately need with threats all of us are aware of. in central asia where nato is playing an important role in the fight against terrorism. the second area i am quite proud of that he brought great international support for is our policy towards north korea, implementing of sanctions and diplomatic pressure. we have sanctions to strangle the north koreaen regime's economic revenue streams. we have china now joining us in putting pressure on north korea in ways that has never been achieved before. i attribute a lot of that to the strong relationship president
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trump has with president xi. we have the international community more unified against north korea's nuclear program than we have seen. it is a combination of economic diplomatic pressure and the president sending a strong message that you will engage with us at some point to solve this because we are not going to allow you to have nuclear weapons. if i have to take the tough decision that i don't want to take i will. so i think in north korea we have completely unified the national community including north korea's previously closest allies aligned with us. i think that is a significant achievement from a foreign policy standpoint for this president. >> a lot to digest from that conversation. our panel dives right in after this. >> tech: so you think this chip is nothing to worry about? well at safelite, we know sooner or later every chip will crack. these friends were on a trip when their windshield got chipped.
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welcome back. you just heard u.s. secretary of state rex tillerson in a wide ranging interview on cnn's state of the union with jake tapper discussing everything from the white house's iran strategy to diplomatic efforts to north korea and responses to reports that he called the president a moron. joining me is cnn political commentator who is also a former adviser to the trump campaign. also with me is a former d.c. democratic party chairman. good to see all of you. let me begin with you. tillerson says the u.s. wants to
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stay in the iran deal days after the president elects not to recertify. in the past he has said the whole deal should be scrapped. what is the message being sent to allies who have expressed concern that perhaps if u.s. fiddles with it then the whole deal is done? >> unreliability. a chaos in policy. uncertainty. if you don't do this deal then you are sending a message to the allies and others that you want to go to war. that's real tlmpt is no in between. this chaos approach to foreign policy not only under mines our credibility with friends and enemies but leaves our friends around the country wondering whether they can believe the tweets or they can believe tillerson or the president. that's not good foreign policy and not good for our safety and safety of other countries. >> on the credibility issue the message is being sent u.s. will engage in a deal but then
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retract if you have a new president in place who decides that the deal by the predecessor is not a good deal. >> absolutely not. those triggers are in the deal which barack obama put in there. the idea that the president would have the option of recertifying it every 90 days and that congress would have 60 days after that to decide what should be done is absolutely per the agreement that barack obama signed into law. >> the president is saying he wants to reshape certain portions about the deal. it's not just honoring that window but it is going back to the drawing board. he is sending it to congress. that is a different kind of message. >> there are two or three issues here. one of the issues is access to the sites that the atomic energy commission agency cannot go to the military sites where they would be hiding their nuclear capabilities. there is the fact that they have
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a plutonium produce and heavy -- >> saying no violations. >> they say they can't certify that iran is in the business of creating a nuclear device. they sent two signals there. in addition to that is absolutely true that iran is continuing to be a bad actor in the region. supporting the assad regime in syria and pursuing ballistic missiles. i think it is still a threat. part of the reason is because of the $150 billion which we freed up for them to have at their disposal. another thing we have to be concerned about is how much nuclear technology and information are they swapping with russia or with north korea? we don't have a grip on this dplmpt sw wh. >> when you have a consortium of six nations signed on what point is that to say we are policing this differently. we are reinforcing this differently. we want to make changes?
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>> remember israel and saudi arabia immediately endorsed what the president has done. germany and the united kingdom and france have not been heavily critical. they haven't been as critical as they could be. they are not jumping up and down about it. let's agree that the european union follows the united states. they rarely leave regardless when it comes down to staring down the gun. they complain all the way about what we are doing. i think what the president is doing is tloeg it back to congress and saying let's look at this thing. >> that was a pivot. he went from whether the iran deal needs to be decertified and said they are still a bad actor. saudi arabia is the worst actor in that region and causes complete unrest. they both agree that the deal is working. if you don't like the deal which is part of the campaign say you don't like the deal and kill the deal. simply not liking the deal it is
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working, if you will f. y. those are two options without decertifying. this president seems to either want to suggest that we are going to go to war which i doubt seriously or is he sending a message that i want a completely new deal? you don't have to desociecertif get to the last option. >> fiddling with the deal we heard express concerns which we say that will undermine the deal all together. so it would be the u.s. who would be in breach and it has nothing -- their argument is it's the u.s. in breach and not iran in breach. >> if you go back and look at president clinton's agreement with north korea 20 years ago -- >> stick to that, jack. >> let me say we have been down this road before where it is delay and say this is going on great. we can't get to the military
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side. >> really address the express concerns from the european allies. >> i think that they would want to know if the inspection is going well, if they are able to get on military sites or not. the fact that that doesn't disturb them and they are not jumping up and down and crying and kicking and screaming. as you know this was barack obama put into the deal. >> no substantial evidence to the fact. why just create havoc. >> let me ask you -- >> number one, it's not havoc. you know that. but don't you feel like it would be good to get the military -- >> don't you think -- why did barack obama build it into there? don't you think it would be good to go on military sites and see what they are doing? >> he builds it into that
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agreement. >> but it sounds like you are trying to justify preemptive decertification not based on violations because iaea, many are all in agreement there have been no violations. now this is just in case there are violations now decertifying. >> wouldn't it be nice to know that there is nothing on the military sites? wouldn't you have a higher comfort level if we can go there and look? causing unrest and uncertainty in that region. there are lots of ways you can find -- >> there is not that is what iran is doing by backing assad in syria.
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we have to leave it there. >> i think it is in everybody's interest to be sure before you certify. >> this president is really this is a bad decision. you know it, i know it. we should be talking about something else because he has decertified it. >> we'll leave it there. thank you, gentlemen. >> we'll be right back. ♪ hey grandpa. hey, kid. really good to see you. you too. you tell grandma you were going fishing again? maybe. (vo) the best things in life keep going.
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our recent online sales success seems a little... strange?nk na. ever since we switched to fedex ground business has been great. they're affordable and fast... maybe "too affordable and fast." what if... "people" aren't buying these books online, but "they" are buying them to protect their secrets?!?! hi bill. if that is your real name. it's william actually. hmph! affordable, fast fedex ground. welcome back. this week nfl owners and the players and the players union will be meeting in part to discuss whether the league should create a rule about players standing for the national anthem.
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looking at video here you see a long line of new orleans saints all taking the knee there in a home game against the detroit lions and they stood during the song. in a letter to nfl teams commissioner roger goodell wrote everyone involved in the game needs to come together on a path forward to continue to be a force for good within our communities, protect the game and preserve relationship with fans throughout the country. the nfl is at its best when we are unified. let's get the latest now with coy. several games underway. through anything different? >> 4:00 games not much changed. the networks did not show the national anthem. i think within the past few weeks we have seen increase in the divisiveness. many players and the league feel that the protests have been
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inaccurately pegged. there is a concerted effort to get the messaging back on track. part of the problem has been perception of inconsistent approach. the saints took a knee before the anthem. the packers and vikings all stood during national anthem locked arms as we saw several other teams do. nfl commissioner roger goodell was in minnesota for the matchup. the new york jets were hosting patriots and both teams stood on the same sideline in a show of solidari solidarity. several players kneeling during national anthem has been the case for the team. team owners and the commissioner will discuss the anthem issue during fall meeting in new york in an extraordinary move they are also inviting players and their union leaders to take part. as someone who served as nfl player union repi see how
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contentious the relationship can be between owners and players. the owners inviting executives to join them at the annual meeting is quite profound. part of those meetings will be to figure out how parties involved can approach the issue in a more unified front. i talked to one high level nfl executive who said the league feels it is vital that owners provide platform for the players to help create positive change and keep messaging on track. the nfl did say there are no proposals currently on the table that would force players to take a stand. we'll see if that ends up being the case. >> the expectation is it has to be more than symbolic that you have them at the meeting with the nfl. thanks so much. appreciate it. joining me to discuss now cnn sports analyst and sports columnist christine brennan and cnn contributor and national reporter for the "washington post."
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good to see you both. christine, nfl owners, players, players union meeting this week in part to discuss the league's policy or what could be next. the expectation is it has to be more than just symbolic. how significant is it and potentially influential is it that all of these people will be at the table? >> i think it shows first of all how seriously everyone is taking this. the nfl, roger goodell, players union. this is not something that anyone is just going to say we are going to change and do x, y, z. i think there was confusion last week especially with the president demanding that the players stand. he never said that. he said they should stand. so i think in some ways we may have gotten ahead of ourselves. some reporting that this was some definitive change. i don't think we know that at all. i think the players are very
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serious and i think a lot of owners understand they can't do anything unilaterally and just can't do that. at the same time i wonder if there has been an about face or has something changed. goodell's initial statement was talking about how players protesting it has to be honored. in a statement read earlier he talks about there should be unity. so is that sending a mixed message because if some players are saying this is why i'm protesting for social change and then you have some players electing not to kneel who want to stand and then you have a message being sent that there can't be that in the form of protest on the field, where do you get the unity? >> well, i would say again that's what the meeting, the idea to have a meeting is. >> if you sent a message is
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there like that messaging from him is that precursor to these are going to be boundaries? >> again, i think people are transporti interpreting that way. we know for example that goodell spent a day with the dolphins last week in the community. i really do think that they are paying attention to what the players are saying and that they know they cannot ram something down everyone's throat. the nfl might try to do it. if they do that i think there will be a backlish against it. >> i think you have a moment where nfl is in the politics is in a bit of publicity crisis. here you have outspoken athletes who have decided to buck the leadership of the league in a way they have not recently. you have a players association that has been pretty outspoken. you have the desire while
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receiving back lash from fans in both directions, a desire to project a level of unity. it would not look good for now after having played out for weeks for roger goodell to say no one is allowed to kneel. the window to make an action like that has probably closed at this point because you would certainly be challenging players to martyr themselves by taking a knee. so i don't know that that is what i expect us to see. i think no matter what the politics with the president will remain interesting no matter what statement comes out it is likely to be closed in the language of unity and teamwork. that is something that can be exploided by a president who might want to say i did this. what we are more likely to see is not a ruling or rule that expressly prohibits players from this type of stand or knee in
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this case because i think that at this point this played on for too long for the league to clamp down that way. >> also one thing i think the nfl is concerned about is trump being able todeclare victory. we know -- >> there is a rule or limitations as to what you are able to do in terms of protest on the field. >> we know that that tweet storm is ready. and if all of a sudden there is no protesting and we know some people are protesting against trump obviously the original colin kaepernick protest social injustice and other issues may have been lost. but if the idea that trump could declare victory everyone at the nfl knows this, the players know this, the union knows this and they do not want to allow donald trump to be able to do that. throw that into the mix. >> to be a fly on the wall at
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that meeting. can't wait to hear what happens and transpires. good to see you both. thank you. coming up next, the real exwives of donald trump. how ivana trump's first lady comments this week became the talk of the town and the subject of this week's cartoon. >> i'm basically first trump wife. on struts, brakes, shocks. does he turn everything to gold? not everything. now get $100 back on a 2-axle brake service with your midas credit card. book an appointment online. t-mobile is america's best unlimited network. and now the nation's best unlimited gets even more powerful when you pair it with the new iphone 8. for a limited time, save up to three hundred dollars on iphone 8. and now, join t-mobile's iphone upgrade program for free. when you think of saving money, what comes to mind?
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it's not often a first lady has to defend her undisputed
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title as first lady. hat is what melania trump did this week. >> there is a new reality show, the real exwives of president donald trump. >> i don't really want to call him that because melania melania hates that. i am basically first wife trump. >> all over washington you can hear people saying no she didn't. the real first lady wasn't having it. the office issuing a statement saying this is unfortunately only attention seeking and self-serving noise, unquote. >> she does this. >> the first lady versus the first wife. andy cohen to officiate. >> first late melania trump.
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honorary first lady. >> donald trump may not be the first divorced president but his exfiles are the longest. >> i have a very good relationship with ivana. the two former mrs. trumps' relationships with one another not so much. >> never achieve anything in her life. >> one thing all the exwives and wife seem to agree on, they cannot change mr. trump. >> i have to say do whatever you want. he knows the consequences. >> i think it is fair to assume if this reality show were to ever hit tv as a series president trump would watch. >> you are going to get great ratings what do i get out of it. >> the ultimate lesson when it comes to the last word ivana said it best. >> i think everybody would be tuning in to that. thanks for being with me this sunday. we have so much more straight ahead. the newsroom.
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top of the hour. you're in the cnn newsroom. surviving an inferno. northern california devastated as the death toll from several out of control wildfires continue to rise. will firefighters finally get good news? speaking out, hillary clinton joins cnn for a wide ranging interview. her ominous warning about vladimir putin. and final farewell. one of the four soldiers killed during an attack is laid to rest today in his hometown. we'll take you there. we begin in washington and cnn's wide ranging interview with the nation's top diplomat secretary of state rex tillerson talking one-on-one andrs

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